Sliding glass doors are pretty common in homes – and with good reason. They are another source of daylight for your home, they give homeowners a great way to enjoy the beauty of their backyards and make it easy to pass in and out while enjoying outdoor activities. However, some homeowners may shy away from sliding glass doors because they can be seen as big energy wasters.
“Glass or ‘patio’ doors, especially sliding glass doors, lose heat much faster than other types of doors because glass is a very poor insulator,” says the U.S. Department of Energy. However, the agency says that newer, more modern glass doors have a thermal break – a plastic insulator between inner and outer parts of the frame. They suggest doors that have several layers of glass, low emissivity coatings or low conductivity gases between the glass panes because all those features help keep your home’s heat or AC from going out the door.
There is a lot to consider when you want to have a sliding glass door installed in your home.
1.Who Will Install Your Sliding Glass Door?
Glass or ‘patio’ doors, especially sliding glass doors, lose heat much faster than other types of doors because glass is a very poor insulator
Once you’ve decided that you want a sliding glass door in your home, the next logical step is finding a professional to do the work for you. This is no small task – it’ll involve cutting a big hole in your house – so you don’t want to give the job to just anyone. Find a professional who you can feel confident in. Look for a well-established company with a good track record. Check out the Better Business Bureau to see if they have had any complaints lodged against them. Ask to see photos of past work. You can ask friends and neighbors whose homes you admire for the names of companies they used, too.
2.Your Sliding Glass Door
Once you’ve found a pro you like, ask them what your options are as far as materials go. Higher quality products usually last longer but can often be the most expensive. If money is an issue (and for most of us, it is), try to find a happy medium between quality and cost. If energy efficiency is a big deal for you, make sure your contractor knows that. Ask about the process of installing the door – how they do it, how long the process will take and how long before you can use your new door. Remember that the wall you want to put your door may already have important electrical wiring or plumbing nearby. Talk to your professional about any electrical work or plumbing expertise your job might require.
3.How to Maintain Your New Sliding Glass Door
Once you’ve put in the time to find a good professional, and dealt with the mess and inconvenience of having work done in your home, make sure to protect your investment by giving your new door the proper maintenance. Keep the track that the door slides on clean and well oiled. Cleaning your track doesn’t take any kind of special technique – simply wipe down the track with a damp rag periodically. Make sure the weatherstripping around your door’s frame is in good condition, too. Check it periodically and replace it if need be. While they won’t cause your door to function, smudges and fingerprints can make your door look less than stellar. Clean your door as often as you need to with a store-bought glass cleaner or a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar.
Don’t let fears over energy efficiency scare you away from having a sliding glass door installed in your home. There are ways to make it so that your door is a beautiful asset, not an ugly energy waster. Do the research required and take your time when hiring a professional – you’ll be glad you did.